I am a professional property investor. I started renovating properties in 1997 and now have an extensive portfolio of properties both in the UK and abroad.
I work with new, frustrated and ambitious property investors looking to build their property portfolio and work their way to Financial Freedom, Mortgage Freedom or find themselves an alternative pension. My clients learn to see through the grime, the smells, the rotting beams and worn carpets of potential renovation projects, giving them huge confidence to manage their renovation project with less stress, even when the going gets tough.
They learn to spot a bargain and not run away from it because it feels like too huge a project to tackle. If the numbers add up, then they are ready and focused to take the plunge. I believe that if you can capture your vision from the outset then you are far more likely to achieve your goals.
In 1997 my husband and I paid £1,000 deposit on our first property, a 200 year old mid-terrace in North Wales. It was completely derelict, with no bathroom, kitchen or heating. There were holes in the floors and 6 layers of wallpaper in some of the rooms. The hallway was completely covered in junk mail. Whilst Andy was prodding the walls checking the structure of the place, I tidied up a bit and discovered slate slabs in the hall and dining room, and Rose Pine wooden floorboards through the rest of the property. The house had been on the market for SIX YEARS!
Today we have a portfolio of properties including an several flats, 2 and 3 bed houses, 5 and 6 bed HMO’s (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) some of which are financed through Joint Ventures and using Other People’s Money, rental properties in France and Bulgaria (which we sometimes advertise on e-bay) as well as our own detached property.
I made my first property mistake in 1990 when I turned down an opportunity to buy a 2 bed flat in the docklands, London, for just £17,000. My salary was £14,000 at the time but I didn’t want to have the debt of a property if I decided to move on!!! What was I thinking? This property would now be worth nearly £400k.
During the last 15 years I have moved 4 times, had 2 children, 5 jobs and started my own business enterprise. I exhibited in my first Property Exhibition in 2006 where my team and I coached 200 people in just 3 days.
When I discovered coaching, just before I left the Rat Race, I started to put some strategy behind my property development ideas and the results have been outstanding. I used to leave all the project management to my husband, but finally I had the power and courage to manage my own renovation. When I first saw a fire damaged property in Peterborough I had to use a torch to see round, and it seemed an impossible task. I coached myself through the project and this is what happened.
- I managed the project part-time.
- I purchased the property within 7 days.
- I won the property through a blind bid, though I was not the highest bidder.
- I brought the project in on time and within budget.
- The U-shaped kitchen only cost me £700 from MFI.
(£1,200 including utilities).
- I took a diploma course at the same time.
- I only worked between 9am and 5pm – no evenings or weekends.
All this was achievable because of the coaching techniques I employed and I can help you to use those too.
Coaching changed my life, I’d like it to change yours too.
In 2010 we up-scaled our property business to help other people get into the very lucrative HMO market and in 2011 we sourced, renovated, let and managed 11 HMO properties. Some were for us, others were sourced for clients and others were bought as Joint Ventures.
The highest cash-flowing property we own brings in £1,200 net per month with a deposit of just £20,000. With £15k added for refurbishment and furnishing, the Return on Cash Invested is 41% – you won’t get that from your bank manager!
We have since re-financed this property and the return is now £800 net per month for £15,000 left in. The Return on Cash invested is now 64%.
Working with highly acclaimed Property Educators
I have been working with Simon Zutshi for many years now, first as a speaker on his property investment network circuit before going on to host the Cambridge pin networking event, and more recently as host to the 12 month investor education programme Property Mastermind.
I also work with Gill Fielding (Secret Millionaire BBC) and founder of the Fielding Property Family, teaching on her Advanced Capital programme and providing the coaching programme for her delegates.
I regularly speak at property networking events across the UK and in Paris (July 2012). I co-run an independent property networking event in Peterborough known as PetPIG (Peterborough Property Investors Group) which hosts many top speakers and property gurus from the property world, including Simon Zutshi, John Lee, Jim Haliburton, Paul Ribbons, Dennis Coote, Nick and Vanessa, Marcus De Maria and Gill Fielding, to name a few.
The most exciting venture yet
In 2010 I sat in a café with a friend who wanted to invest in property – little did I know then that this conversation would very quickly turn into the most exciting project I have ever been involved with.
Ed Walker (the friend) had a vision to buy a house for some vulnerable adults who were coming out of prison or had been living as homeless. After a conversation about how you could use modern investment strategies to make the properties profitable and therefore not be a burden to the investor Ed, Gavin Bateman and I met to form a charity called Hope into Action: East of England. In the last 2 years this charity has grown to 9 properties in Peterborough and Cambridge, housing 25 people. The original 2 clients are now in full time employment and are moving into standard private rental accommodation.
Our vision is to have the same process working in 20 Cities across the UK by 2020. Bold, but achievable. It is a Christian Charity and works in conjunction with a hosting Church to enable these vulnerable adults to adjust back into society as well as being surrounded by a caring wider family.
An interesting past
At the age of 13 I learned to do the Rubik Cube – it was a new fad at the time and everyone was trying to work out how to do this. I have to say that being able to do it was just a strange ability until my brother worked out how to write down the ‘moves’ I was doing to complete this puzzle. I typed it on my Smith Corona type writer in just one page, and sold it to my friends for 10p a sheet – a copy of this solution can be found on my website.
At this same young age I decided I wanted to be a Pilot. I was told not to be so stupid as I was a girl! However by the time I was 17 I was flying gliders, and I was awarded my Private Pilot’s License just after my 19th Birthday. This was my ultimate achievement at the time, and it was fun to fly to Ostend for lunch and to take my friends to the Isle of Wight to go swimming for the afternoon.
I let my PPL lapse in 1997 when I discovered that Skiing was faster and far more exhilarating than flying and also a better family pursuit.
My greatest ambition is to do a wing walk on a Steerman aircraft, but I’m not allowed to do this for charity as it is classed as a ‘stunt’, so I’ll have to include it in my ‘activities’ towards raising funds for charity instead.
Why MacMillan? Well on 26th October 2012 I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I’m glad to say that even a few months on from this I am fully recovered, if still undergoing some treatment. This was one of the best things that happened to me, and the first few months of this were recorded in my blog www.radioactivewoman.com if you would like to read more about this exciting journey.
I continue to be passionate about property, but I’m more passionate about helping other people to find the right investment strategy for themselves and to see them making huge progress towards financial freedom and security for the long term.
If you want to make huge leaps in your property investment business or in your portfolio then I can help you with my innovative problem solving techniques and show you how to squeeze every penny possible from each property.